Reply To: (V)ortical vs (M)odular

Index Forums Cognitive Functions (V)ortical vs (M)odular Reply To: (V)ortical vs (M)odular

Rua
Moderator
  • Type: NeTi
  • Development: ll-l
  • Attitude: Adaptive

^^To add something further as a contrast: songs and smells are the stimuli that most often trigger a sense of being back at a certain era or state of mind I existed in years ago. It can be a song I’ve heard before, maybe even 20 times, and yet on the 21st listen, if present conditions have primed it somehow, a feeling of being synchronized with that time comes over me. And when this sensation happens, it doesn’t trigger a specific memory, it’s more like a grouping of thoughts and feelings I once experienced separately that have conglomerated to form a unified mental atmosphere. Often it’s a very pleasant feeling; it used to cause at least a tinge of wistfulness for me, but most of the time it happens now it just feels nice. If it’s a stimulus that triggers the feeling of being back in a space I don’t want to go back to, dissociation happens autonomically for me, but I don’t think that has much to do with M.

There are also specific anchoring memories I can access. They are highly detailed and very spatial/positional, and the ones I can access this way don’t change. I’ll have a sense that I am exactly where my body was at that specific point in time, and everything is visually freeze-framed. And around this memory there will be a nebulous sense of the era in which it took place, of the chunk of time that surrounds the anchoring spot, and the vague character of that time period, but nothing specific unless I actively try to remember more. Then I can come up with the rituals first, like recreating the route I took from school, or the most common sequence of habits I followed in a day (this is all largely visual). The last things I remember when working from the anchor point are the most poignant and emotional scenes of that time period.

It’s true, though, sometimes, including when I feel particularly moved by a piece of music or something else, I feel a sense that it just sort of exists, almost eternally, in the sense of the Greek roots of the word outside of + time. Other times, when I sense what is going to happen in the future, it’s not even like it’s *going to happen*, more like it’s already happened, or is happening “now”, in the sense that time is “flat” outside of the perception I (we) are stuck in (that it’s moving at a constant speed in a constant direction), which is actually an illusion.

I definitely don’t experience this, but it sounds really interesting! I very much have the sense that time as I can perceive it in a standard state of consciousness is moving forward linearly, that patterns and cycles repeat and play themselves out with new agents and variables; I don’t sense anything timeless in this process, quite the opposite. What I can envision are the most probable future timelines I generate from my understanding of history: how what has come before interacts with the movements of the current variables and processes I perceive. When I have an overwhelming sense or vision of a specific future which will occur, there is no sense that it’s already happened, just a resignation that it’s the end effect of all the dominoes that came before it, and of those yet to be placed, with only a fraction of a chance of not occurring because I misjudged or was incapable of perceiving or predicting the dominoes placed between now and the event.

EDIT: Frank Herbert’s first Dune novel is very much concerned with an M user’s exploration of prescience, of the way in which every preceding event can lead to an inevitable outcome, and of the way one’s actions leave the realm of personal control and spiral outward towards a singular and terrible purpose. Later novels in the series begin to chip away at this idea of inevitability, and posit that prescience in fact creates and chooses the very future it claims to predict by only displaying one or a few paths that suit the person navigating the unfathomable complexity of the universe. In my youth the idea that my actions, no matter how good or well-intentioned they might be at present, could spiral into something intensely negative later down the line used to cause me a great deal of distress (especially as it related to other people’s welfare).

  • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Rua.
  • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Rua.

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